Ovarian Cancer Home > Carboplatin Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, and anemia are among the likely side effects of carboplatin. High doses of this chemotherapy drug also have been reported to cause vision loss. However, this problem seems to go away once the medication is stopped. Other possible problems include allergic reactions, which typically occur within minutes of administering the drug.

An Introduction to Carboplatin Side Effects

Just like any medicine, carboplatin can cause side effects. However, unlike most types of medications, chemotherapy drugs often cause serious or intolerable side effects. In fact, the side effects of chemotherapy often limit how effective the drugs may be, because the side effects often interfere with receiving chemotherapy "on schedule."
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with carboplatin. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Possible Side Effects of Carboplatin

Carboplatin has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given the drug were documented. The prescribing information for carboplatin contains information on potential side effects taken from studies that used carboplatin alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medications.
To help distinguish between side effects caused by carboplatin and those possibly caused by the other medications, the following information was taken only from studies that used carboplatin alone, without combining it with other chemotherapy medications.
The most common side effects of carboplatin seen in clinical trials when used alone included:
  • Nausea and vomiting -- in up to 92 percent of people (see Chemotherapy and Nausea)
  • Anemia -- up to 90 percent (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
  • Low white blood cells (leukopenia) -- up to 85 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 81 percent
  • Low levels of a certain type of white blood cell known as neutrophils (neutropenia) -- up to 67 percent
  • Low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) -- up to 62 percent (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
  • Low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia) -- up to 47 percent
  • Low magnesium levels in the blood (hypomagnesemia) -- up to 43 percent.
Other common side effects when this drug was used alone (occurring in 1 to 37 percent of people) included but are not limited to:
Loss of vision has also been reported with high doses of carboplatin, but this problem seems to go away once the medication is stopped. Carboplatin and other platinum drugs have also been known to cause serious allergic reactions, usually within minutes of starting the infusion. Your healthcare provider needs to be ready and equipped to handle such reactions.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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